United Kingdom downplays reports of £400m payment for Zaghari-Ratcliffe's release from Iran

03 Mai, 2021, 12:08 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • FILE- Iran's national flag flutters in the wind as the Milad telecommunications tower and buildings are seen in the background Tehran Iran

Iranian officials told Reuters last month that an interim deal could be a way to gain time for a lasting settlement that involved unfreezing Iranian funds blocked under us sanctions.

But he said the wider context of the forthcoming elections in Iran, which will vote in a successor to President Hassan Rouhani, and the talks in Vienna over the nuclear deal were more significant issues.

The prisoner swap deal with Washington also reportedly involved the unfreezing of $7 billion (€5.8 billion) in Iranian funds. It was unclear if Tehran was expecting to see Iranians freed in the swap, or who they might be. "We continue to call on Iran to release Nazanin immediately so she can return to her family in the United Kingdom".

"Reports that a prisoner swap deal has been reached are not true", Price said. "We will not stop until we are able to reunite them with their families".

Ron Klain, Joe Biden's chief of staff, told CBS' Face the Nation that "unfortunately, that report is untrue".

Americans had previously sought to oblige Iran to release American spies without giving any benefits to Iran. "We raise this with Iran and our interlocutors all the time, but so far there's no agreement".

Despite the American denials, there have been signs that a deal on prisoners may be in the works based on Iranian officials' remarks in recent weeks.

Iran is known to hold four Americans in prison, including Baquer and Siamak Namazi, environmentalist Morad Tahbaz and Iranian-American businessman Emad Shargi.

Officials in Washington did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The state TV, quoting an unidentified Iranian official, also said British-Iranian national Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe would be released once Britain had paid off a debt on military equipment owed to Tehran.

FILE- Richard Ratcliffe husband of charity worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe imprisoned in Iran calls for his wife's release outside the Iranian Embassy in London Jan. 16 2017

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has said Iran's treatment of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe "amounts to torture" - the strongest language the United Kingdom government has used to date.

According to Metro News UK, the claim quoted an anonymous official, who suggested the British government will provide the money for the woman's return.

The UK Foreign Office said the British government is continuing "to explore options" to resolve the case.

She was convicted of plotting the overthrow of Iran's government, a charge that she, her supporters and rights groups deny.

Her family and the foundation, a charity that operates independently of media firm Thomson Reuters and its news subsidiary Reuters, deny all charges against her and say she was only visiting relatives in Iran.

Her husband Richard Ratcliffe told the Associated Press he was not aware of any swap.

"Iran has always emphasized the comprehensive exchange of prisoners between the two countries", he said, without elaborating.

Asked if she was being held hostage, Mr Raab said it was hard to argue against that characterisation.

The Iranian hostages-for-cash report came amid recent indirect talks in Vienna between the U.S. and Iran over U.S. President Joe Biden's effort to rejoin the 2015 worldwide compact with Tehran to curb Iran's program to build a nuclear weapon. Iran has not held direct negotiations with the USA during the talks, however.

Two children die in stabbing at China kindergarten BBC News
Two of the wounded are in a serious condition after the mass stabbing in Beiliu City, in Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region. Two of the injured children later died while another two are seriously injured and undergoing surgery.

Iran, U.S. Warships in First Tense Mideast Encounter in a Year
In 2017, the Navy recorded 14 instances of what it describes as "unsafe and or unprofessional" interactions with Iranians forces. However, Iran had largely stopped such incidents in 2018 and almost in the entirety of 2019, she said.

Federal government insists Ontario must make provincial businesses pay for sick leave
Last week Premier Doug Ford said his government is working on a sick benefits plan but did not commit to any timeframe. The federal program Ford is trying to supplement provides workers with $450 a week after tax.

Conseillé:



Populaire

Romney Wins Censure Vote but Gets an Earful
About 1,900 delegates were in attendance at the start of the state organizing convention, held at the Maverik Center, Cox said. Susan Collins said Sunday that she was "appalled" to see fellow Republican Sen. "Those are the principles that unite us".

Ontario government wants hotel quarantine for land border crossings too
The commission has examined what went wrong in the province's response to the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. The province also reported that 21 more people died of the virus, bringing the total number of deaths to 8,050.

Pfizer-BioTech seek coronavirus vaccine OK for children
People will receive an SMS specifying the time slot during which they can visit the drive-through for their second vaccine . Balance of 7,49,960 vaccine doses are still available with the state for administration to the eligible population groups.

Biden: Mask-wearing is a patriotic responsibility
The president yesterday said he would need to wear a mask if he was sitting close to someone indoors- even if they're both vaccinated- which goes against CDC guidance.

Macron avance une levée totale du couvre-feu en juin "si possible"
Le couvre-feu pourrait prendre fin le 30 juin . "L'étape zéro, c'était la réouverture des écoles le 26 avril". Les salles de sports, fermées depuis l'automne dernier, seront également autorisées à réouvrir.

Sir Simon Stevens to stand down as NHS England chief
No official decision on a replacement has been made, and would be formally made by NHS England's board. He was knighted in 2020 for services to health and the NHS , and will now join the House of Lords.

Biden administration will likely announce its intention to ban menthol in cigarettes
The agency can not take action against individuals who would possess or use menthol tobacco products. Support has also grown in Congress to enact a ban through legislation, via NYT .

Federal hate crime charges for 3 suspects in death of Ahmaud Arbery
Arbery was on the ground, that he heard Travis McMichael make the statement, 'f--ing n--er, '" GBI agent Richard Dial testified. PHOTO: In this May 29, 2020, file photo, a protestor holds up a photo of Ahmaud Arbery at a rally in Washington.

Private Florida school won't employ vaccinated teachers, staff
You will need to enter your personal information, including the name, birth year, and ID proof. You can also search for a vaccine centre by selecting your state and district.

Pink supermoon lights up dawn skies
A "supermoon" occurs when we have a full moon at the same time the moon is closer to the Earth on its elliptical orbit. As a result of its close proximity to Earth, a super moon is bigger and brighter than an average full moon.